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Fang-Ching Chien, Yi-Chin Liu, and Ben Jong-Dao Jou

Abstract

This paper presents an evaluation study of a real-time fifth-generation Pennsylvania State University–NCAR Mesoscale Model (MM5) mesoscale ensemble prediction system in the Taiwan area during the 2003 mei-yu season. The ensemble system consists of 16 members that used the same nested domains of 45- and 15-km resolutions, but different model settings of the initial conditions (ICs), the cumulus parameterization scheme (CPS), and the microphysics scheme (MS). Verification of geopotential height, temperature, relative humidity, and winds in the 15-km grid shows that the members using the Kain–Fritsch CPS performed better than those using the Grell CPS, and those using the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) Nonhydrostatic Forecast System (NFS) ICs fared better than those using the CWB Global Forecast System (GFS) ICs. The members applying the mixed-phase MS generally exhibited the smallest errors among the four MSs. Precipitation verification shows that the members using the Grell CPS, in general, had higher equitable threat scores (ETSs) than those using the Kain–Fritsch CPS, that the members with the GFS ICs performed better than with the NFS ICs, and that the mixed-phase and Goddard MSs gave relatively high ETSs in the rainfall simulation. The bias scores show that, overall, all 16 members underforecasted rainfall. Comparisons of the ensemble means show that, on average, an ensemble mean, no matter how many members it contains, can produce better forecasts than an individual member. Among the three possible elements (IC, CPS, and MS) that can be varied to compose an ensemble, the ensemble that contains members with all three elements varying performed the best, while that with two elements varying was second best, and that with only one varying was the worst. Furthermore, the first choice for composing an ensemble is to use perturbed ICs, followed by the perturbed CPS, and then the perturbed MS.

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Cheng-Shang Lee, Yi-Chin Liu, and Fang-Ching Chien

Abstract

This paper presents an observational and numerical study of Typhoon Mindulle (2004) as it affected Taiwan. Mindulle made landfall on the east coast of Taiwan at 1500 UTC 1 July 2004, and after 13 h, it exited Taiwan from the north coast. Severe rainfall (with a maximum amount of 787 mm) occurred over central-southwestern Taiwan on 2 July 2004. During the landfall of Mindulle’s main circulation, a secondary low formed over the Taiwan Strait. However, the secondary low, after it developed significantly (vorticity exceeded 5 × 10−4 s−1 over a 30-km radius), did not replace the original center as was observed in many other storms. Instead, it moved inland and dissipated after the original center redeveloped near the north coast of Taiwan. In this study, the evolution of the secondary low, the redevelopment of the primary center, and the processes leading to the severe rainfall were examined. Results showed that the processes leading to the formation and the development of the secondary low were similar to those described in previous studies. These processes include the leeside subsidence warming, the horizontal transport of vorticity around the northern tip of the Central Mountain Range (CMR), and the overmountain upper-level vorticity remnant. However, because of the northward track, Mindulle preserved some strong vorticity on the eastern slope of the CMR. This strong vorticity remnant was steered northward over the ocean offshore from the north coast where the redevelopment of the primary center occurred. This “quasi-continuous track” of Mindulle has not been documented in previous studies. The vortex interaction between the redeveloped primary center and the secondary low resulted in the northeastward movement of the secondary low, which then dissipated after making landfall. Analyses also showed that even though heavy rainfall would occur over the mountain area when only the southwesterly flow prevailed, as on 3 July 2004, Typhoon Mindulle and the secondary low provided extra convergence that resulted in the west–east-oriented convective bands. These convective bands and the orographic lifting of the circulation associated with the secondary low resulted in the heavy rainfall over the central-western plains area.

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Yi-Chin Liu, Pingkuan Di, Shu-Hua Chen, and John DaMassa

Abstract

To better understand the change in California’s climate over the past century, the long-term variability and extreme events of precipitation as well as minimum, mean, and maximum temperatures during the rainy season (from November to March) are investigated using observations. Their relationships to 28 rainy season average climate indices with and without time lags are also studied. The precipitation variability is found to be highly correlated with the tropical/Northern Hemisphere pattern (TNH) index at zero time lag with the highest correlation in Northern California and the Sierra and the correlation decreasing southward. This is an important finding because there have been no conclusive studies on the dominant climate modes that modulate precipitation variability in Northern California. It is found that the TNH modulates California precipitation variability through the development of a positive (negative) height anomaly and its associated low-level moisture fluxes over the northeast Pacific Ocean during the positive (negative) TNH phase. Temperature fields, especially minimum temperature, are found to be primarily modulated by the east Pacific/North Pacific pattern, Pacific decadal oscillation, North Pacific pattern, and Pacific–North American pattern at zero time lag via changes in the lower-tropospheric temperature advections. Regression analysis suggests a combination of important climate indices would improve predictability for precipitation and minimum temperature statewide and subregionally compared to the use of a single climate index. While California’s precipitation currently is primarily projected by ENSO, this study suggests that using the combination of the TNH and ENSO indices results in better predictability than using ENSO indices only.

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Yi-Ting Yang, Hung-Chi Kuo, Eric A. Hendricks, Yi-Chin Liu, and Melinda S. Peng

Abstract

The typhoons with concentric eyewalls (CE) over the western North Pacific in different phases of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) between 1997 and 2012 are studied. They find a good correlation (0.72) between the annual CE typhoon number and the oceanic Niño index (ONI), with most of the CE typhoons occurring in the warm and neutral episodes. In the warm (neutral) episode, 55% (50%) of the typhoons possessed a CE structure. In contrast, only 25% of the typhoons possessed a CE structure in the cold episode. The CE formation frequency is also significantly different with 0.9 (0.2) CEs per month in the warm (cold) episode. There are more long-lived CE cases (CE structure maintained more than 20 h) and typhoons with multiple CE formations in the warm episodes. There are no typhoons with multiple CE formations in the cold episode. The warm episode CE typhoons generally have a larger size, stronger intensity, and smaller variation in convective activity and intensity. This may be due to the fact that the CE formation location is farther east in the warm episodes. Shifts in CE typhoon location with favorable conditions thus produce long-lived CE typhoons and multiple CE formations. The multiple CE formations may lead to expansion of the typhoon size.

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Ching-Sen Chen, Yi-Leng Chen, Che-Ling Liu, Pay-Liam Lin, and Wan-Chin Chen

Abstract

The seasonal variations of heavy rainfall days over Taiwan are analyzed using 6-yr (1997–2002) hourly rainfall data from about 360 rainfall stations, including high-spatial-resolution Automatic Rainfall and Meteorological Telemetry System stations and 25 conventional stations. The seasonal variations and spatial variations of nontyphoon and typhoon heavy rainfall occurrences (i.e., the number of rainfall stations with rainfall rate >15 mm h−1 and daily accumulation >50 mm) are also analyzed. From mid-May to early October, with abundant moisture, potential instability, and the presence of mountainous terrain, nontyphoon heavy rainfall days are frequent (>60%), but only a few stations recorded extremely heavy rainfall (>130 mm day−1) during the passage of synoptic disturbances or the drifting of mesoscale convective systems inland. During the mei-yu season, especially in early June, these events are more widespread than in other seasons. The orographic effects are important in determining the spatial distribution of heavy rainfall occurrences with a pronounced afternoon maximum, especially during the summer months under the southwesterly monsoon flow. After the summer–autumn transition, heavy rainfall days are most frequent over northeastern Taiwan under the northeasterly monsoon flow. Extremely heavy rainfall events (>130 mm day−1) are infrequent during the winter months because of stable atmospheric stratification with a low moisture content. Typhoon heavy rainfall events start in early May and become more frequent in late summer and early autumn. During the analysis period, heavy rainfall occurrences are widespread and dominated by extremely heavy rainfall events (>130 mm day−1) on the windward slopes of the storm circulations. The spatial distribution of typhoon heavy rainfall occurrences depends on the typhoon track with very little diurnal variation.

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Yi-Chin Liu, Jiwen Fan, Kuan-Man Xu, and Guang J. Zhang

Abstract

We use 3D cloud-resolving model (CRM) simulations of two mesoscale convective systems at midlatitudes and a simple statistical ensemble method to diagnose the scale dependency of convective momentum transport (CMT) and CMT-related properties and evaluate a parameterization scheme for the convection-induced pressure gradient (CIPG) developed by Gregory et al. Gregory et al. relate CIPG to a constant coefficient multiplied by mass flux and vertical mean wind shear. CRM results show that mass fluxes and CMT exhibit strong scale dependency in temporal evolution and vertical structure. The upgradient–downgradient CMT characteristics for updrafts are generally similar between small and large grid spacings, which is consistent with previous understanding, but they can be different for downdrafts across wide-ranging grid spacings. For the small to medium grid spacings (4–64 km), Gregory et al. reproduce some aspects of CIPG scale dependency except for underestimating the variations of CIPG as grid spacing decreases. However, for large grid spacings (128–512 km), Gregory et al. might even less adequately parameterize CIPG because it omits the contribution from either the nonlinear-shear or the buoyancy forcings. Further diagnosis of CRM results suggests that inclusion of nonlinear-shear forcing in Gregory et al. is needed for the large grid spacings. For the small to median grid spacings, a modified Gregory et al. with the three-updraft approach help better capture the variations of CIPG as grid spacing decreases compared to the single updraft approach. Further, the optimal coefficients used in Gregory et al. seem insensitive to grid spacings, but they might be different for updrafts and downdrafts, for different MCS types, and for zonal and meridional components.

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